Helen – Assistant Clerk of Works

Helen registered with Women into Construction in April 2021, while studying for an HNC Construction & the Built Environment at College of North West London CNWL. Helen had previously gained a BA (Hons) Metalwork & Jewellery and trained in 3-D Design and Auto Cad but was keen to gain some construction experience and a CSCS card to help her enter the world of construction!

WiC were able to provide Helen with access to the expert advice of the WiC Project Manager, Anna Walterskotter, who identified her as a great candidate for the Henry and Guinness Partnership Pre Employment Programme in May 2021.

After successful speed interviews, held at CCCT with a series of employers, Senior Regeneration Manager Helen Dobbs at Guinness offered a work placement to Helen. At the time, and due to COVID, this was delivered in a blended way with lots of opportunity to learn about roles at Guinness in housing and construction as well as site visits on estates in Brixton and Hackney and a group site visit at Henry Construction on Leaside Lock (photo).

The work placement with The Guinness Partnership helped Helen to gain experience and confidence and introduced her to a variety of roles available within home building projects. The in August 2021, Helen’s college organised for her to have a further three-month paid work experience placement at McLaren Construction at the Riu Plaza Hotel, Victoria – Helen thoroughly enjoyed her time on site!

In April 2022 Helen Dobbs, who was very impressed with Helen during her initial placement, encouraged Helen to apply for the Assistant Clerk of Works role and in May 2022 Helen started full time employment with The Guinness Partnership.

Helen Matykiewicz- Chang told us: ‘I learned about Women into Construction through the job centre, and that’s how I met Anna (Project Manager). The programme included training classes which helped me improve my skills as I gained more confidence. All parties were really helpful and supportive in preparing all the ladies for their speed interviews. Helen Dobbs from Guinness organised the work placement, which was beneficial because it exposed me to a variety of professional roles. I expressed a keen interest in the CoW role and was offered the valuable opportunity to shadow the CoW further at many active sites, at various phases of construction. I must have made an impression since Guinness created a new role for me! I am their new Assistant Clerk of Works!’

Anna Walterskotter at WiC said: ‘Helen was hugely supportive to her peers on the programme; always encouraging others to ask questions and taking photos of site visits; offering detailed feedback to me and the employers. She also presented an account of her own work experience with great enthusiasm and passion at our celebration event at CCCT; enabling employers to see how much impact their intervention on someone fresh to the industry can have.’

Congratulations Helen, we are very proud of you!

For details on current Women into Construction programmes, visit our programmes page.